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3:10 to Yuma (2007)

I had the flu last week (not covid according to several tests), just flu but it totally knocked me off my feet for a few days.

Since I was off work and housebound I decided to watch a few films I’ve wanted to watch for a while, starting with this one:

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really a big western fan (although there are a few I do really like) but I remember thinking this was one of the better ones when I first watched it around the time it came out.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s directed by James Mangold (Identity, Logan) and stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Ben Foster (30 Days of Night), Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief), Peter Fonda (Easy Rider) and Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien) among many others.

It’s the second film adaptation of the 1953 short story “Three-Ten to Yuma” by Elmore Leonard.

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

“Outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) terrorizes 1800s Arizona, especially the Southern Railroad, until he is finally captured. Wade must be brought to trial, so Dan Evans (Bale), the owner of a drought-stricken ranch, volunteers to escort him to the train. Along the trail, a grudging respect forms between the men, but danger looms at every turn, and the criminal's men are in pursuit.”

I really like this movie! Although I said I’m not that big on westerns I do tend to enjoy them when I watch them. It’s just never been a genre that I’ve been particularly excited about.

Unsurprisingly I’ve never seen the original film (or rather first adaptation of the story). It was released in 1957, has the same title and stars Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in the two lead roles. I think I’m gonna have to track it down though. I might even do an Original vs Remake post about it.

According to IMDb’s ratings there’s very little in it, with the original film rated 7.6/10 and the “remake” 7.7/10. That’s pretty respectable for a “remake”.

The thing I love about this movie is the relationship between Russell Crowe’s character Ben Wade and Christian Bale’s character Dan Evans.

Dan takes the job to escort Ben to the train for two reasons, 1) Because he’s in debt to an unforgiving businessman who’s threatening to take his ranch and needs the money, and 2) To gain respect from his son.

Throughout the movie this gets revealed to Bed Wade and although he’s a cold blooded killer, he’s honourable and is at heart a good man. It’s because of this that the relationship forms and it’s essentially that relationship that the whole film is about.

As good as Crowe and Bale are in this film I have to give Ben Foster who plays Ben Wade’s right hand man, Charlie Prince a mention. He’s excellent in this! Unlike Wade, Charlie is just a nasty piece of work and is a genuinely scary and unpredictable character.

Ben Foster always plays a great bad guy! I first saw him play a villain in 30 Days of Night (2007) but he was also really good in the remake of The Mechanic (2011) starring Jason Statham (also worth a watch if you haven’t seen it).

This is one of the few westerns that has made a big impression on me.

It has a great story, interesting characters and a really good cast.

If you like a decent “good guys vs bad guys” movie where one of the bad guys is actually kind of good I recommend giving this a watch.

Seen it? Let me know below.

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